CA Gov Newsom 'openly dreading' appointing Senator Feinstein’s potential successor: report

CA Gov Newsom 'openly dreading' appointing Senator Feinstein’s potential successor: report
MONTEREY PARK, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 22: California Governor Gavin Newsom stands near the scene of a deadly mass shooting at a ballroom dance studio on January 23, 2023 in Monterey Park, California. An 11th person has died and nine more were injured at the studio near a Lunar New Year celebration on Saturday night. A candlelight vigil for the victims will be held in the predominantly Asian American community of Monterey Park tonight. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images).

California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) told NBC News moderator Chuck Todd on Sunday's edition of Meet the Press that he "would not appoint" any of the three Democrats hoping to fill the United States Senate seat held by incumbent Dianne Feinstein (D-California) if she leaves office before the end of her current term, correspondent Alex Seitz-Wald reports.

Among those eyeing the potential vacancy are Representatives Barbara Lee, Katie Porter, and Adam Schiff, all of whom are "locked in a high-profile battle ahead of the March 5 all-party primary, when the top two vote-getters of any party will advance to the November general election. Both may end up being Democrats, given California's partisan tilt," Seitz-Wald explains.

"A poll released Thursday from the Institute of Government Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, found Schiff and Porter running neck and neck at 20% and 17%, respectively, while Lee trailed at 7%. A third are still undecided," Seitz-Wald writes. "Feinstein, 90, has resisted calls to resign and said she intends to serve out the remainder of her term, which ends in January 2025."

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Seitz-Wald notes, "Newsom is openly dreading the prospect of having to fill another Senate vacancy, having already hand-picked his state’s other senator, Alex Padilla, to fill the seat vacated by now-Vice President Kamala Harris."

Newsom said that he would make an "interim appointment" because he does not "want to get involved in the primary. It would be completely unfair to the Democrats that have worked their tail off. That primary is just a matter of months away. I don't want to tip the balance of that."

Newsom added, "I don't want to make another appointment, and I don't think the people of California want me to make another appointment."

Seitz-Wald adds, "After facing blowback for replacing Harris, the Senate's only Black woman, with a Latino man, Newsom pledged he would select a Black woman to fill any future vacancies. California politicos widely understood that pledge as a nod to Lee, 77, an elder statesperson of both progressive and African American politics in California, and Newsom's allies did little to combat that notion. But that was almost two years before Feinstein announced she would retire at the end of her term, opening a heated contest for the seat. Since then, Lee's allies have been hoping that Feinstein would step aside early, paving the way for Newsom to appoint Lee to the seat for the remainder of the current term and allowing her to run as an incumbent for another full term."

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Seitz-Wald's full analysis continues at this link.

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